Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bats, Babies and Bedtime Stories: A Bloggy Beginning

I love bats. And babies. And bedtime stories. And …… blogs?

Well, that remains to be seen. But on the other three, I am one hundred percent sure: I love them. And if this blog turns out to be the perfect way to tie them all together, then I will love blogging as well.

I never thought I would be a happy mom. In fact, for a very long time I didn’t think I would ever have children. Just pets. Mostly dogs. Maybe some cats. Or a tea-cup pig. But no kids. Then, life changed, as it is wont to do.

I met a guy, fell in love, changed universities, moved to Wisconsin, got some cats, moved back to Boston, got married, bought a house, fell out a window, got a dog and then had not one, but three kids. Pretty standard stuff (except for maybe the parts about Wisconsin and the window).

When I had Devi, my first child, it was soon obvious that parenthood could easily become all-consuming. I wanted to be the perfect mom: apple pie and Toll-House cookies, stories at bedtime and all the warm fuzzies that go along with it. But what did that mean for the “me” part of me?  I didn’t want to lose myself in parenthood. I still wanted to be me: a little goth (well, maybe a lot), a little punk, a little bit of life on the darker side. Would I have to sacrifice myself to become the perfect mom? Would I have to get a short haircut, wear mom jeans, practical shoes and drive a mini-van while rockin’ out to Raffi? Did I have to read her ‘Goodnight Moon’ or could I lull her to sleep with my own stories about the Bat King? Couldn’t I be June Cleaver AND Lily Munster at the same time?

The answer is obvious. I am who I am and the essence of “me” couldn’t simply change because I became a mom. To let parenthood change me in such an all-consuming way would not only sacrifice everything that I am but would also portray a false ideal to my children- the very children who I want to raise to be independent and unique. I realized that by being myself I AM being a good mom. The best mom I can be.

Sure, my children may have some unconventional notions. They will assume that all their friends have gargoyles to protect their houses and that they know the secret questions to ask monsters. But I am pretty sure that when I was five I thought every grandmother spoke French and everyone’s mom danced along to ‘Dance Fever’ each week. Somehow or other I managed to survive both French and disco to become my own person. I am sure my children will survive the skeletons and the bats and manage to eat some apple pie along the way.

And they will be them. And I will be me. Part soccer-mom, part boogey-mom, but always me.


  1. Goodnight Moon is awesome :) I point out to the kids how the mouse is always in a different part of the room. We have to find it and then scream "ekkkkk!" at seeing a mouse in the house!

  2. I agree- Goodnight Moon is a good one. I was mostly trying to say that I didn't want to feel obliged to sticking with the standard tales for my kids but that I could reach out to more unconventional stories/subjects as well.

  3. I agree... those are the stories they love the most anyways! I got really into homeschooling stuff prior when I had my first. Got a book called "Before Five In A Row" and was surprised at the ways books could help develop young minds when used in ways I normally never thought of.